Monsta X Experiment With Bold New Sounds on ‘Take.2 We Are Here.’ Album
In K-pop, there are certain concepts or sounds that distinguish some groups from others. Then, there are those who challenge themselves with something completely new for their comebacks. And that's what Monsta X did on Monday (Feb. 18), when the Starship Entertainment septet released their second studio album, Take.2 We Are Here.
Though their strong, dark appearance may coincide with their typical bass-heavy EDM and rock-inspired sounds, Shownu, Minhyuk, Wonho, I.M., Hyungwon, Kihyun and Joohoney get quite experimental on their new project. Their lead single, "Alligator," is an alarm within itself, signalling the boys' return. Taking inspiration from hip-hop, electronic and pop, Monsta X take charge on an instantly catchy track. (Just try to get "alli-alli-alligator" out of your head.)
"Ghost," on the other hand, is a spooky, haunting track that wouldn't sound out of place as the theme song for a horror television show. In addition to the mesmerizing creepy production, Joohoney completely makes the track his own thanks to the the charismatic tone in his rap. Monsta X prove their flexibility to tackle different genres on their highly anticipated Steve Aoki collaboration, "Play It Cool," which treats listeners to a complete house banger.
"It was something unique and challenge for us," I.M. told PopCrush about the track. "This song was somewhat different than what we are used to singing as Monsta X. However, we liked the song so much and tried our best to make the perfect harmonies and sounds for it."
Slowing the tempo down a bit, "No Reason" comes off as the most pop-sounding song on the album. Though it may remind some of The Chainsmokers, the song channels the group's soft side and conjures a nostalgic pretty boy image that contradicts their bold concept as a group. Further into the album, "Give Me Dat," "Turbulence" and "Stealer" deliver sounds very familiar to Monbebe (Monsta X fans): action-packed song progressions with heavy percussion complemented by powerful rap verses and vocals.
Meanwhile, "Rodeo," with its Western movie intro, carries melodies and beats that may remind one of old school catchy K-pop songs from the '90s or '00s, making it a standout party song. Its energy, however, contradicts the last track on the record, "Party Time," when Monsta X slows things down with a chill R&B song. In this case, it's a perfect way to end an album that figuratively narrates the group's exploration of modern sounds.